Government ministers responded to the construction industry crisis by announcing a national approach to implementing recommendations of a report they commissioned in 2017 and received 17 months ago. Bianca De Marchi/AAP

Ministers fiddle while buildings crack and burn

The construction industry crisis didn't happen overnight. Authorities have been on notice for years to fix the problems that now have the industry itself calling for better regulation.

Analysis and Comment

Public libraries can use their status as community hubs to engage the public in scenario planning for the future. Mosman Library/Flickr

How public libraries can help prepare us for the future

We commonly think of libraries as repositories of knowledge accumulated over centuries. But the public library also connects people in ways that can enable communities to plan for their future.

‘People felt totally trapped’: what it’s like to be a pensioner renting privately as Australia’s housing costs soar

‘People felt totally trapped’: what it’s like to be a pensioner renting privately as Australia’s housing costs soar. The Conversation, CC BY39 MB (download)
On today's episode, Alan Morris shares some of the deeply moving stories he heard when he set out to interview older Australians in private rental accommodation and social housing about loneliness.

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Building standards

Most new houses being built in Australia do no better than comply with the minimum energy performance required by regulations. Brendon Esposito/AAP

Australia’s still building 4 in every 5 new houses to no more than the minimum energy standard

Australia requires a minimum six-star energy rating for new housing. New homes average just 6.2 stars, so builders are doing the bare minimum to comply, even as the costs of this approach are rising.

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Transport

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Housing

Many people exit the mental healthcare system into homelessness, only to return repeatedly to hospital-based care, and sometimes the prison system. Shutterstock

From hospital to homeless: Victoria’s mental health system fails the most vulnerable

Without a place to live it is nearly impossible to take care of your mental health needs.The upcoming Royal Commission should recognise the connection between stable housing and mental health.

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Sustainable cities

Building construction and demolition create enormous amounts of waste and much of it goes into landfill. Sytilin Pavel/Shutterstock

We create 20m tons of construction industry waste each year. Here’s how to stop it going to landfill

China has put the onus back on Australia to take responsibility for our waste, and Germany has shown us the way with extended producer responsibility for construction and demolition waste.

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  4. China can learn from Australian urban design, but it’s not all one-way traffic
  5. ‘I didn’t want to be homeless with a baby’: young women share their stories of homelessness

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